December 19, 2017

BHP tells Minerals Council of Australia to sit down and shut up about climate change and energy

SYDNEY, December 19, 2017:  BHP’s warning to the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) “to refrain from policy activity and advocacy” on climate and energy in opposition to BHP’s own views, is a crystal clear indication that the MCA has failed to meet the needs and expectations of its biggest member and contributor.

“BHP has just told the Minerals Council to sit down and shut up about climate change and energy,” said Deputy CEO Glen Klatovsky. “BHP provides the MCA with 17% of its funding and has signalled it will no longer tolerate the politically mendacious, ideological pro-coal advocacy of the MCA.”     

“BHP has long acknowledged that climate change is real and that we need to move beyond coal. Now, after a review of its association memberships, the world’s biggest miner has taken the significant step of signalling it will dump membership of the World Coal Association (WCA) and is actively considering dropping membership of the US Chamber of Commerce”.

“Yet while BHP will exit the WCA, and has slapped down the MCA, its actions in relation to Australian industry groups do not go far enough. Notably, it has failed to address its troublesome relationships with the NSW Minerals Council and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), two of the worst offenders on climate blocking and attacks on civil society,” said Mr Klatovsky.

“The QRC successfully lobbied the Queensland Government this year to exclude the mining sector from industrial manslaughter laws. This does not appear to align at all with BHP’s commitment to safety. And yet the QRC seems to have escaped the severe sanctions meted out to the Minerals Council.”

“BHP has also failed to adequately address the attacks on charities led by the MCA, NSW Minerals Council and the QRC.

“If BHP wants to be taken seriously on addressing climate change, it needs to cut the MCA and its state-based counterparts loose,  and use those membership fees for genuine action on climate change,” said Mr Klatovsky.